So after two weeks of battling with a mechanic. Big Bird, my 1981 C10 pickup is running quite nicely. I ended up taking it to a mechanic because the carburetor is a 1978 Q-jet core that is just barely hanging on, and I'm not all that confident with carburetors to begin with. So I decided it was safer to let someone with experience try to work out the kinks.
He replaced the thermostat and adjusted the A/F and found that the vacuum advance has all but crapped out, so he road timed it rather than hit it with a light. He was supposed to convert it to electric choke, but I can understand why he didn't. When I start my new job I'll probably pick up a new carburetor and replace the distributor.
As far as the El Camino goes, I'm waiting to hear back from the current owner. I'm content to be patient, and I'm just happy to know where it is, and that it's still on the road. Apparently it hasn't been altered all that much from when I owned it, which is fine. It ran really well when I sold it. All it really needed was body work and an interior. It was missing a headliner and the rugs were pretty rough. The rugs were replaced, but I don't know if a headliner was put in it or not.
He said he did a roll-on bedliner and put a tonneau on it, which is awesome. When I sold it, it had a garish white fiberglass camper cap that was missing all of its hardware and didn't even have a handle or latch. I had it held on by some rope and a few well tied scout knots. It looked terrible, but it kept my camping gear dry, and that was all I wanted at the time.
He did mention a warped flexplate which I found a bit odd considering everything was newly rebuilt and perfectly straight when I bought it. He said he planned on fixing it, so I'm not too concerned.
I am happy to report that I used all of the resources I posted here in my search for the El Camino, and that my search was a complete success. All in all it took about 2 weeks to find it. Keep in mind that I'm unemployed until the 15th of this month, so I spent nearly all of my free time searching. Your mileage may vary and I don't believe my quick success is at all typical for this process.
At this point, my game plan is to get back to work and situate myself financially. If the current owner is willing to sell, I plan to buy the El Camino and quickly try and sell my 81 C10 as I don't have space for two vehicles. If he isn't willing to sell right now, I'll invest a bit further with the C10 and then try and sell it to get something a bit more economical with 4WD. I figure then I'll start a savings account and set aside funds for when he is willing to sell. That way I'll have money ready to buy, as well as start work on the Elco to restore it as I had once intended to do.
FCR has lots of new followers on Twitter, although the facebook page is still a bit slow to grow and we have 8 members. The blog is also getting a fair amount of traffic. I'm hopeful people will start coming forward with cars they want to find so I can populate the blog with ads for those vehicles and aid in the search. This blog is meant to be one more tool in your arsenal to find your old car, please use it.
You can either comment here directly, or you can send me an email at email@example.com to get started.
Best of luck to all of those searching. I'll continue to update here with information and resources as they become available.